Should you have children at your wedding or not? Is this something you’re agonising over? Does your partner agree with your opinion on the subject? Have your family told you that children at weddings is what makes the day? But you’re still not sure.
I have been to weddings with no children and loved that the adults were able to relax and let down their hair. I have also been to weddings that had just a few children or babies there, which felt almost like a no-kids wedding, with a few extra giggles and cuteness thrown in. And I’ve been to a wedding or two that was TOTALLY geared up for children – I’m talking, bouncy castle, magician, glitter tattoos, everything. A totally amazing spectacle and enjoyed as much by the adults as the kids.
The only person who can decide what’s right for you, is you and your partner. Family and guests are bound to disagree with some of your wedding decisions, but if you are confident in your choice, then you’ll be able to happily ignore their gripes. In fact, I’d give that same advice on how to handle any moan about your wedding plans. It’s your day. Come to your own decision and be confident in that decision so people don’t feel there’s any point arguing or trying to persuade you otherwise.
So… what’s the right thing for you? Invite the children or make it an adult-only day?
You might find it easier to decide if you start by asking yourself a few simple questions.
- Do you and your partner have children of your own?
- Do most of your friends have children?
- Do you like children?
- Are there lots of children in your family?
- Are you pretty relaxed about how your day unfolds?
If you answered “yes” to most of the above, you’ll be inviting the kids and probably didn’t need to question it for a second! Children at weddings is an integral part of the whole experience for you. Now you just need to think about entertaining them. (See the heading below)
If you answered “no” to the majority, you might still be questioning what’s right. Try this next list…
- Do you actively dislike children?
- Are there so many children amongst your friends that you are worried about the cost or the venue having space?
- Would you be upset if there were any small distractions during your wedding vows?
- Do you want a really elegant, stylish day?
- Is it important that all of your guests stay to dance until the very end of the party?
A majority of “yes” answers to this list suggest you really would prefer a child-free wedding. So think it over, discuss it with your partner and anyone else who’s influence is important to you. Then once you are confident in that decision, you can convey this message to your guests.
How do we NOT invite children to our wedding?
So you’re thinking it’s going to be an adult-only day? Having children at weddings isn’t for everyone and that’s totally your decision. Be confident and stick to your guns.
Now make sure you tell people who will be affected as early as possible so they have time to sort out their childcare. Babysitters for weddings is a tricky request. It’s not just an evening out, it could be all day and overnight. So you may need to be a little sympathetic about this as some parents will struggle to make plans. Have a think BEFOREhand what you are going to do about anyone who declines your invitation because of childcare issues. Is it more important they will be there to celebrate with you and you’re prepared to bend the rules a little? Or are you very sorry they aren’t able to join you, but sticking to your guns.
I have another blog post on its way soon about child-free weddings. You can take a look there for help with how to handle every retort. But always remember, it’s your day, your party, you’re doing it YOUR way.
They key thing is to communicate your decision confidently and clearly from the outset.
Children at Weddings – YES
So you concluded that you’ll be inviting the kids? Good, who else is gonna teach the grown ups how to floss?
If you have kids yourself (and an increasing number of my couples booked in do), then it’s probably a no-brainer for you. Make sure you incorporate some entertainment so you can relax and be a couple during the day, not just parents. Get their grandparents, aunts and uncles or close friends on board and ready to look after the kids for a half hour here and there during the festivities. It can be such a whirlwind of a day, it will do you good to have them taken off your hands for a few minutes so you can just breathe and take it all in.
There are plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained throughout the day so they don’t get bored. And of course lots of different people to occupy them too. But give a bit of extra thought to keeping them happy and quiet during any speeches and the ceremony itself. A quiet snack, a book for older kids or a bit of YouTube put on quietly can be a god send! Add your own ideas for keeping the kids entertained at your wedding to my Facebook Video post on this subject. My personal faves are bubbles, paper aeroplanes and an actual kids entertainer. Not forgetting a bouncy castle for those really committed to the fun!!